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Understanding Tangible Personal Property

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What is "tangible personal property"?

Tangible personal property is everything other than real estate that is used in a business or rental property. Examples of tangible personal property are computers, furniture, tools, machinery, signs, equipment, leasehold improvements, supplies, and leased equipment.

Who must file a personal property return?

Anyone owning Tangible personal property on January 1 must file a tax return by April 1 each year unless you were notified by our office that the filing requirement has been waived. Every new business owning tangible personal property on January 1 must file an initial tax return. In any year the assessed value of your tangible personal property exceeds $25,000, you are required to file a return. Taxpayers who lease, lend or rent property must also file a return.

Why do I have to file?

Section 193.052, Florida Statutes, requires that a tangible personal property tax return shall be filed. After the initial year of filing, if the assessed value on the return is greater than $25,000, a return should be filed. If you receive a letter by mail notifying you to file a tax return, it is because our office has determined that you may have property to report. If you feel the tax return is not applicable, please return the letter with an explanation. Failure to receive a letter does not relieve you of your obligation to file.

How can I obtain a return?

From our website, select TPP Online in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Or to print a fillable DR-405 form, go to our website under Tangible Personal Property to Forms and Resources.

What if I receive more than one letter?

A tax return must be filed for each letter you received. If you have more than one location where you transact business the assets of each should be listed separately on each return.

What if I have no assets to report?

Complete the TPP Account Status Change form with an explanation.

I went out of business PRIOR to January 1. Should I still file a return?

Yes. On the return, indicate the date you went out of business. Let us know if you sold or transferred the business to someone else who is operating at the same location or a different location. If you shut the business down, did you sell, scrap, or abandon some or all of the assets. Any assets that you retained which were not converted to personal use should be reported. This can be done online or on the tax return. If you have no assets, you cannot file online.

If you have been waived from the filing requirement, please fill out a TPP Account Status Change form and send it to the office as soon as possible.

I went out of business AFTER January 1. Should I still file a return?

Yes, since you were still in business on January 1, you are required to file a tangible personal property tax return. Report all tangible personal property of the business as of January 1. On the return, indicate the date you went out of business. Let us know if you sold or transferred the business to someone else who is operating it at the same location or a different location. If you shut the business down, did you sell, scrap, or abandon some or all of the assets. Any assets that you retain which are not converted to personal use should be reported next year. This can be done online or on the tax return. If you have no assets, you cannot file online.

What if I have old equipment that has been fully depreciated and written off the books?

Whether fully depreciated in your accounting records or not, all property still in use or in your possession should be reported.

Important Dates To Remember

January 1
Date of assessment
Letters mailed notifying taxpayer to file a tax return
April 1
Filing deadline for personal property returns to avoid penalties
August
Notices of proposed property tax mailed
September
Deadline to file Value Adjustment Board petition
November
Tax bills sent by Tax Collector

Do I have to report assets that I lease, loan, rent, borrow or are provided as part of the rent?

Yes, both the lessor and the lessee should report this equipment on the return. If the lease is a true/operating lease, complete section leased loaned and rental equipment on the back of the return. Capital leases should be filed in the same section as similar assets on your depreciation schedule are filed. To determine where to file on leased equipment, the lease agreement may need to be reviewed.

Is there a minimum value that I do not have to report?

If this is your initial year you are filing there is not a minimum value. In subsequent years, if the assessed value based on the return is less than $25,000, the requirement to file a return is waived. If the assessed value based on the return is greater than $25,000, a return must be filed each year.

What are the deadlines and penalties for filing?

The deadline for filing a timely return is April 1. After that date, state law provides that penalties be applied at 5% per month or portion of a month that the return is late. A 15% penalty is imposed for unreported property; there is a 25% penalty when no return is filed.

If I buy an existing business during the year, how do tangible personal property taxes apply to me?

If the business you buy was in business on January 1 and had tangible personal property, the Orange County Tax Collector will issue a tax bill in November for taxes levied against that property. Most title companies do not do a search of the tangible assets of a business; therefore, you should consult your broker, attorney, or closing agent to avoid any problems.

What is an office or field review assessment?

When a tax return is not filed by April 1 and the filing requirement has not been waived, we are required to place an assessment on the property. Section 193.073(2), Florida Statute, authorizes the property appraiser to estimate from the best information available the assessment of the tangible personal property of a taxpayer who has not properly and timely filed his or her tax return. The assessment represents an estimate based upon the value of businesses with similar assets. Being assessed does not alleviate you of your responsibility to file an accurate return.

What if I don't agree with the assessed value that appears on my notice of proposed property tax?

In mid-August, the owner of record will receive a notice of proposed property tax covering tangible personal property. If you disagree with the assessment, call or visit our office to discuss the matter with us. If you have evidence that the appraised value is more than the fair market value of the property, we will welcome the opportunity to review this information. If you are still not satisfied, you may file a petition to have the matter reviewed by the Value Adjustment Board.

Helpful Hints And Suggestions

  • File the return online before April 1 or if you prefer not to file online you may print a return from our website and return it by mail or hand deliver it along with supporting documents. Be sure to sign and date the return. Faxed or unsigned returns cannot be accepted.
  • If an agent files a tax return on your behalf, you must send us a signed letter of authorization by April 1st. Without it we cannot accept the return.
  • Work with your accountant or CPA to identify any assets that may have been "Physically Removed". List those items in the appropriate space on your return.
  • Do not use vague terms such as "various" or "same as last year."
  • Provide a detail asset listing since depreciation on each item may vary.
  • If you sell your business, go out of business, or move to a new location please fill out a TPP Account Status Change form and send it to our office as soon as possible.

How do I qualify for the TPP Exemption?

A timely return in the initial year must be filed to receive the $25,000 exemption. Filing a return after the April 1 deadline will result in penalties. The return shall be considered the application for the $25,000 tangible personal property exemption and will be applied to the first $25,000 of assessed value for the tangible personal property account. Failure to file a return constitutes a failure to apply for the exemption.

In subsequent years, if the assessed value based on the return is less than $25,000, the requirement to file a return is waived. If the assessed value based on the return is greater than $25,000, a return must be filed each year.

Freestanding property placed at multiple sites, other than where the owner transacts business, will file a single return and receive one $25,000 exemption (examples: vending and amusement machines, LP/propane tanks, utility and cable company property, billboards, and leased equipment.)

How do I file a lease equipment account?

Provide the following information in excel format:

  1. Physical location of leased equipment
  2. Retail selling price new
  3. Type of equipment/ description of asset
  4. Year acquired for each unit of leased equipment located in Orange County

In order for us to provide you with the assessed values, you must file this information either on a computer compact disc or through email. Excel is the preferred spreadsheet format. If you send this information via email, the email address is jrodriguez@ocpafl.org.

In addition to your excel filing, you must still provide by mail the original signed and dated tax return.

 

How do I file a vending account?

Provide the following information in excel format:

  1. Physical location of equipment
  2. Original cost of equipment
  3. Type of equipment (such as amusement machine, video game, snack or soda machine, gum or candy machine, ATMs or pay phones)
  4. Year acquired for each unit of equipment located in Orange County

In order for us to provide you with the assessed values, you must file this information either on a computer compact disc or through email. Excel is the preferred spreadsheet format. If you send this information via email, the email address is wpool@ocpafl.org  

In addition to your excel filing, you must still provide by mail the original signed and dated tax return.

How do I file a timeshare account?

Provide the following information along with the Tangible Personal Property Tax Return:

  1. Total number of units certified for occupancy as of Jan. 1 
  2. Total number of timeshare weeks owned by the developer as of Jan. 1 
  3. Total number of timeshare weeks owned by other parties as of Jan. 1 
  4. Total number of nights the timeshares, owned by other parties, was rented out during the preceding year